Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Mobile SLP

I wish there were more hours in the day or that the weekends could be a day longer. I never seem to have enough time to get everything done...This weekend, I wanted to get two weeks worth of Medicaid billing done. I managed to catch a nasty cold from one of my sweet 1st grade students so I only accomplished billing for 3/7 students. (I don't bill for my ELL in K-3 or I would have 14.) This number is roughly half of what I had to bill for last year so I know it will get done before the end of the month. It's just going to eat up all my time after school this week and I was hoping to get started on the Reading standards. -.-

I don't know how many of you follow the inclusion model of treatment vs. pull-out. Last year, I pulled out all of my students and pushed in for one class on Fridays. It seemed like the best way to survive my CFY and get acclimated to my independence. Overall, I favor pull-outs for my articulation students. It is just easier to hear them and use intervention methods in my room so we can be as obnoxious as necessary (and we get pretty obnoxious for our /r/'s) : P . I also enjoy pull-outs because it gives me time to really connect with my students. They all know that I am pretty laid-back and don't mind listening to them. I love it when they start connecting their personal experiences to our stories or something that their peer shares. It also makes me glad to know that they feel like my room is a "safe" place to talk about things that need to be shared with someone. The majority of the topics are things far beyond my control, but sometimes I do get the opportunity to help. Recently, I inquired about helping one of my students get to participate in the school's recycling team since the kids have to take a test to join. (Why they have to pass a test to recycle is beyond me...but it's quote "really hard" so I'm doing my best to help.)

My district, like many that I know of, is pro-inclusion. Ideally, inclusion promotes understanding and diversity as well as exposing more students to the general curriculum. It's also good thing because you are able to work on material that is relevant to the classroom. (Although, asking me to help with math is probably about as good as having the blind lead the blind.) The kids aren't losing any of their instruction time and there is at least one other adult in the room to help with behavioral issues.

This year, I am getting the "best of both worlds" so to speak with my insane schedule. I'm doing pull-outs for my articulation students as well as my 2-5th grade language groups. I also get to spend roughly two hours (depending on the day) in the EC classroom doing co-teaching during kindergarten Letterland. It's been quite the positive learning experience so far. I get to see how the EC teachers manage behavior, how Letterland is actually supposed to go (re: my trainer just wasn't very good), and figure out how to take decent therapy notes on 2-3 kids per 45 minute session while the EC teacher has to focus on the entire group of 6. Enter my little secret friend who makes the inclusion block go so much better.......

You've met her briefly before, but here she is in all of her four shelved glory. 

Top shelf which concentrates on articulation and categorization. I keep Peabody artic decks in my cart and the Webber decks stay in my therapy room. This way I don't have to mess with transferring materials every session.
 I also have several bags of picture items for categories so I just keep one bag in my cart. 

The other half of the top drawer. I have several of my articulation puppets stored  here.
I also hide bubbles on this side occasionally.

The third shelf of my cart which focuses on language. I have pictures of objects and scenes.
I have my home-made sticker cards that I use for following directions and some association cards below them.
The "busy" book is something I use with one of my extremely low students for following directions. I also have an opposites book and a set of small books about common places (school, hospital, etc) that they might go.
The cart is a great way to transfer materials to and fro without much of a hassle. I store my data binders on the second shelf and my categorization "wheel" (pink snack tray) on the bottom. I plan to eventually use the bottom shelf for RtI once the librarian finishes bar-coding the 5 Minute Artic program that the district purchased. The top of the cart has a second copy of my schedule taped to it and is usually bare if I'm not taking some of my larger therapy things with me (like my box of animal toys or my Minnie Purse) that won't fit in a shelf. It has been the one of the best material investments I have made ($10) so far as an SLP even though I can and do "tweak" things in the EC classroom for my purposes. If you are not quite the materials junkie that I am, baskets from the Dollar Tree/Target/Walmart are a great way of transferring your materials around with you. I have also seen a few people using collapsible hand-carts. There are tons of posts on pinterest about organizing materials from both teachers and SLPs. It's really just a matter of trying things out until you find something that works best for you. 

P.S. If you are working with kids, get the flu shot and keep a bottle of germ-X on hand. It's not fail-proof but you will save yourself from some of the misery. 

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